You might not hear “Amblyopia” used commonly in dialogue, but you’ve probably heard the term “lazy eye”. This lazy eye is actually a type of poor vision, happening in just one eye. If you think that this might cause an imbalance for your vision, you’d be correct. Hence, it’s important to recognize the handicap early on to prevent long-term problems. Since this vision development disorder starts at childhood, parents should be proactive in taking their children to the doctor. Being able to detect it early is key to reducing the permanent loss of vision.
Amblyopia from the Beginning
“Lazy eye” starts during childhood and is more likely to happen if other families have it as well. Sadly, even with contacts or glasses, the problem isn’t fixed. That’s why parents should actively take their children to the eye doctor and ensure that their vision is normal and good. It’s estimated that around two to three percent of the U.S population has some degree of Amblyopia. Since it’s typically a problem of infant vision development, it can be hard to spot sometimes. Look for clues that your child may have a lazy eye. For example, do they get upset if you cover one eye? Are they squinting a lot?
Fixing the Lazy Eye
Solving the lazy eye problem depends on what the individual eye needs. For instance, if there’s another vision problem causing the Amblyopia, the doctor will have to treat that first. In this case, your child may need to a prescription to correct their near or farsightedness. The next step would be to re-train the brain. This would be forcing the use of the weaker eye. The more the brain uses it, the stronger that it gets.
Other treatments may include wearing an eye patch on the strong eye or applying eye drops in the stronger eye. By covering up the strong eye, the weak eye is then forced to work better for the brain. In some cases, wearing the patch is only necessary for two hours a day. Other times, it’s insisted for every waking hour. Unfortunately, it’s not always the best solution, in terms of school and other kids.
Putting eye drops has somewhat of the same effect. A once-a-day drop of atropine can temporarily blur near vision, forcing the brain to use the weaker eye to see. Fortunately, this option works just as well as an eye patch for most kids.
Once your child starts treatment, their vision may get better in a couple of weeks. Notably, it may take months to get the best results. After that, they may just have to incorporate similar exercises from time to time to keep the lazy eye away.
Make sure that your facility has the right equipment to check for vision. Shop our inventory now and positively affect the many children you’ll see in your office.